The first cities arose on riverbanks. Rivers provided drinking water, food, transport, hygiene, recreation and commerce.  The waterfront became a hub for activity, powering the City’s economy, advancing culture, and moving the human race forward. The river was a vein, pulsing with the lifeblood of the City.

Today, Data is the new lifeblood of the Digital City. Rivers of Data permeate the entire City - running from the deepest subway stations to the top of the highest skyscrapers. Data charges along sidewalks to our public spaces, homes, and work environments. Data connects everyone to everyone, everyone to everything, and everything to everything. Data holds the potential to empower and connect us all.

We see a unique opportunity to bridge the digital and the physical. We have created a platform from which to accelerate NYC’s ambition to become the “Digital City of the Future,” and we have placed it along the rivers of concrete that make up our City. To tap into this River of Data, we have created NYCDataWell.

Data is the New Utility. NYCDataWell works in tandem with New York City’s landmark Open Data Law. This data — data about us, for us, and paid by us — is now available, as mandated by this groundbreaking law. With additional NYC-related data from sources such as the US Census and the National Weather Service, the flow of data is further strengthened. Even more importantly, the City’s own constituents - its citizens, communities, businesses, visitors, and entrepreneurs- are potential sensors for data, as well as its future users, curators, and contributors.

The possibilities of harnessing the power of data are why we are so passionate about our submission. The best way to expand and make more accessible this river of data is to use the curbside to create a city-wide network. Yet the payphone, a symbol of communication and connection, is now a relic of the analog age. We believe that our city has a golden opportunity to replace the payphone and repurpose this valuable real estate by activating the Age of the Digital City. We believe that NYCDataWell will create an easily accessible, durable, and elegantly modular system of connection, communication, and knowledge.

We invite you to explore further by accessing the NYCDataWell site. We hope you will be as excited as we are about the way we have Reinvented the Payphone.

Peace, Love, Design and Data,
The NYCDataWell Team